Reviews written by registered user
quixoboy

Page 1 of 5:[1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [Next]
43 reviews in total 
Index | Alphabetical | Chronological | Useful

2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Enthralling, but a bit too long..., 5 December 2003

...That's probably because my first-ever viewing of "Apocalypse Now" was in its "Redux" version - featuring around 40 minutes of additional footage that, in the 3-hour-plus product, apparently formed the crux of what was ORIGINALLY envisioned.

Oh, well. I buy it. Contrary to what most others thought, I didn't have a problem with the film's somewhat bloated running length - though I shouldn't really be able to judge, as I have never, ever seen the film before. Fans of the original tend to side with it, and dismiss THIS 2001 re-release as a cheap marketing gimmick (which most re-releases usually are). Nevertheless, I wasn't too bothered by its epic pace; this masterful Vietnam war picture had an impact that resonated with me all the more strongly BECAUSE of its longevity. The next week I ended up viewing the tighter, original 1979 version - and, while still obviously good, I found I somewhat preferred the newer version, for its fascinating additions that lent new depth and meaning to its images.

This is a terrific, and shockingly realistic drama, showcasing unbelievable performances from an all-star cast backed by a legendary director. Obviously enough has been said about the infamous ordeal that countless cast and crew members went through to make it on location. The result was well worth it, and provides an insightful, thoroughly enjoyable window into the hellish, surreal world of the Vietnam war.

0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Overrated...?, 1 November 2003

Nah! I finally saw this film in its entirety - and I've got to say to all the haters: for those of you who thought it was boring; for those of you who thought it was jumbled, incoherent, and uneventful...you must realize that IT'S SUPPOSED TO BE MADE LIKE THAT!! Any other way of constructing the story and the individual sequences would have, at the very least, watered down the fright factor a bit.

I must say I was surprised by how genuinely creeped out I was at times when viewing this film - mostly due to the glaring lack of clichéd musical cues and ambient noise. I felt that was the absolute strongest aspect of "The Blair Witch Project", a raw, unpleasant journey into the woods captured on film by three young "filmmakers" who somehow "disappeared" as their "documentary" was being shot. Losing the map, fighting amongst companions, the discovery of random odd signs in the woods - most notably the film's trademark stick symbols - and more all serve to heighten the unbelievable realism of this infamous voyeuristic drama. I feel it deserves its cult status as one of the greatest and most original horror films ever made. It's obvious why many people saw such potential for imitation and mockery (mostly just for that signature "I'm so scared" teary-eyed Heather close-up). "The Blair Witch Project", however, cannot be called such a disaster. It's certainly a unique viewing experience, and for that I must commend it for its approach, and its lasting legacy.

Uplifting and whimsical!, 1 November 2003

I was really in love with this film (no pun intended) by the time end credits were rolling - but after they were interrupted by that fabulous telephone conversation scene with David Hyde Pierce and Sarah Paulson, I was purely delighted...and then came the wonderful "Here's to Love" music video with none other than the effervescent two leads singing and dancing up a storm in a jazzy setting! What terrific fun! I remember first catching the trailer of this film late one night and it surprised me to feel that after it finished, I wanted desperately to see that film right away! Unfortunately, by the time it was released, I couldn't get in a good time to see it, which was a tragedy - especially considering the short time it was out for.

Looking at the financial success of the film, I wasn't all that surprised that "Down with Love" turned out to be a less-than-spectacular release in terms of moviegoers and publicity. I didn't expect many mainstream audiences to warmly accept an unconventional spin on fluffy 1960's romantic comedies - not to mention one starring a cast of pretty well-known and successful actors, which could have translated to awkward placement in such a different setting of fantastically fake-looking sets and stock footage...but lo and behold, "Down with Love" turned out to be a great, great film! I cannot express my fondness and praise for this film any better. It was a good thing I came into it expecting something very over-stylized, corny, and unintentionally amusing (which is generally the case with those actual types of films from the era). Oozing with unbeatable charm and camp, this is a winning little overlooked gem.

"Down with Love" showcases the aforementioned colourful, cheesy sets (except this time with a slightly hyperkinetic, 21st-century feel to them); irresistible performances from every cast member, especially Zellweger and MacGregor (who is continuing to be one of my favourite actors following his magnificent work in "Moulin Rouge!", the "Star Wars" films, etc.); classy, show-stopping music and songs, and an overall energetic pacing with story and comic timing. I was very touched by the nice story, and its wrap-up was nothing short of beautiful. I happen to really like these kinds of films, and elsewhere I have mentioned before that I am an unabashed sucker for that type of schmaltz and melodramatic undertones. It is a wonderfully positive film, though, with impressive digs at the styles, fashion, etc. of the time period. Up with "Down with Love", I say!

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Cute romantic dramedy - with a twist, 1 November 2003

"Sliding Doors", against all my worst expectations, actually turned out to be one of the more innovative and fun romantic comedies I've seen in a while. Call it gimmicky, sure, but hey - it worked for me, anyway, seeing the two separate ways in which Gwyneth Paltrow's lead character could go based on a singular action (or lack thereof)...in this case, the boarding of a subway train. The result of her either catching the train or being left in the dust determines, among other things, her current relationship with her adulterous mate; her hair colour; the fate of her pleasant hookup with an interesting new man, etc. It sounds like all the makings of a corny screwball comedy - but with a weird "overlapping parallel timelines" trick tossed in to make it seem fresh. The truly weird thing, though? It actually works! Yes...I was most certainly drawn in. This is a nice, sweet little concept film that you don't hear many people talk about. I liked it, though. The characters (for the most part) were charming and endearing, what with that dry British wit, and the overall fate message of the film is one that can definitely resonate with me.

1984 (1984)
122 out of 148 people found the following review useful:
One of the great screen adaptations, 31 October 2003

Merely a few days after finishing my read of George Orwell's fantastic 1948 novel "Nineteen Eighty-Four", I was immediately keen on looking to rent the modern film version, "1984" - filmed, appropriately enough, not only during the actual YEAR of 1984, but also during the exact same short span of months that the story took place in. This, to me, is a prime example of perfect, and unbelievably well-timed, brilliance. A picture based on such complex, prophetic, and well-known material could have turned out to be a complete disaster (which it certainly had potential for, judging from the horrendous-looking DVD cover); thankfully, however, I was not disappointed.

"1984" is probably one of the most, if not THE most, masterful transitions from book to movie I have ever seen. Easily, its most impressive aspect was its phenomenal accuracy, attention to detail, etc. In other words, this film was FAITHFUL, in every sense of the word, to its source material. One can't give such a statement about films these days.

Amazing casting, terrific musical score, and mind-blowing sets, cinematography, and direction, "1984" is surely a unique treasure, and one that still retains the same timeless messages even decades since its release.

1984 (1984)
78 out of 102 people found the following review useful:
One of the great screen adaptations, 31 October 2003

Merely a few days after finishing my read of George Orwell's fantastic 1948 novel "Nineteen Eighty-Four", I was immediately keen on looking to rent the modern film version, "1984" - filmed, appropriately enough, not only during the actual YEAR of 1984, but also during the exact same short span of months that the story took place in. This, to me, is a prime example of perfect, and unbelievably well-timed, brilliance. A picture based on such complex, prophetic, and well-known material could have turned out to be a complete disaster (which it certainly had potential for, judging from the horrendous-looking DVD cover); thankfully, however, I was not disappointed.

"1984" is probably one of the most, if not THE most, masterful transitions from book to movie I have ever seen. Easily, its most impressive aspect was its phenomenal accuracy, attention to detail, etc. In other words, this film was FAITHFUL, in every sense of the word, to its source material. One can't give such a statement about films these days.

Amazing casting, terrific musical score, and mind-blowing sets, cinematography, and direction, "1984" is surely a unique treasure, and one that still retains the same timeless messages even decades since its release.

Profoundly moving, 25 October 2003

The great Clint Eastwood's powerful character study "Mystic River" is a stirring and beautifully crafted tale of three male childhood friends. Many years later, as full-grown adults, their lives suddenly turn back to intertwine following the mysterious murder of the 19-year-old daughter of one of the men.

Not only was I impressed by the stellar cast assembled for this film, but I was deeply moved and saddened by the unfortunate twists and turns many people's lives took in this raw, unflinching crime drama. It's a serious, masterfully told piece of work, and everything from acting to direction to music is (not surprisingly) solid across the board...even though at times, admittedly, the film's somewhat dreary, schmaltzy tone could get a little manipulative; thankfully, such is a very, VERY minor complaint in a sea of praise for this amazing piece. One can't stop raving about the performances themselves - particularly from the spectacular trio of male leads: Sean Penn, Tim Robbins and Kevin Bacon. Absolutely astonishing and Oscar-worthy - every single one of them, and then some (supporting players, etc.) Granted, it took me a little while to get used to their sometimes grating Boston accents, but in time their convincing personalities and dilemmas grew on me heavily.

In a time where, to be brutally honest, the amount of genuinely good films is dwindling to a respectable few, "Mystic River" is a very welcome surprise for me. Taut, suspenseful, and emotional, it's a wonderful start to the much-anticipated fall season of potential award-winning films.

Swept Away (2002)
0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Well...THAT wasn't so bad..., 18 October 2003

...No, really. I'm a bit surprised actually that I survived the full 90 minutes of this so-called disaster. I just finished watching it several minutes ago...and I must admit, I was blown away by how shockingly decent the film was. Actually, I daresay it was a bit above decent; if I hadn't read the countless deplorable reviews of this infamous film, I would even think this was a downright great movie! Too bad my mind has been slightly clouded (nope, make that VERY clouded) by the overwhelmingly negative rap this film has earned. Well, hear this, skeptical moviegoers: IT'S NOT SO BAD! Really!! Yeah, that's right - I am praising "Swept Away"! (gasp!!!) So sue me! If you think any shred of taste in good film I once had has now been exterminated, you can maybe stop and listen first...

I cannot believe most critics were destroying this as they did back when it was released late last year (to a dismal box-office performance, surprise, surprise). Indeed, I myself thought it initially to look interesting - until I was influenced by the near-universal animosity everyone was feeling for it. For WHAT?! Because it starred Madonna in another of her supposed vanity projects, directed by her own husband? Because it was inferior to the 1970s original (which I have never seen, so I shouldn't judge), which just happened to star the father of the actor in this version in the exact same role?? I don't know...please, help me out here!

Granted, I can somewhat see why many people have slammed it...at times, its editing, cinematography, script, etc. can leave MUCH to be desired, but hey, it was nowhere near the garbage I was expecting when I reluctantly chose to watch it - simply out of pure, sick curiosity! I am easily fascinated by what are considered the "worst" films ever, and this shouldn't be stuck in that section. Nowhere near. Sure, it has its frequent moments of camp, and sheer stupidity...but I mean, c'mon! Were you really expecting a good artistic film to be taken seriously? Give me a break! I was laughing many times...sometimes at moments that were actually supposed to be funny, and others that were unintentionally funny. This film was fantastic other times...that bizarre singing/dancing sequence of Madonna in the yellow dress was disturbing and amusing at the same time! I liked it! "Swept Away" is by no means a classic, I don't think, unless it miraculously gains an air of importance as the years pass - when people finally recognize it as the severely, severely underrated work it is. Good acting (for the most part) from the hilariously vicious two leads, nice story (and for those who think it lousy or unoriginal - remember, it's a REMAKE!!), charming music, and one of the saddest endings I've ever seen...schmaltzy, yes, but hey...I'm an unabashed sucker for that type of stuff.

This is one of the stranger experiences I've had watching a film, as I don't think I've felt this completely swayed before by a film so reviled! I actually enjoyed it, and that's starting to scare me! Oh, well...I have nothing against anyone involved, I think Madonna is a great talent. She seemed very courageous to me to take this kind of a role, in this kind of an environment. It's pretty memorable, and I hope she doesn't stop - even after this unexpected failure.

Bully (2001)
Terrifyingly real, 12 October 2003

"Bully" is a film that snuck up on me this past year, when I just happened to catch it on one of those extra digital movie channels. I didn't really know what to expect; I had read a fair bit about the somewhat obscure drama, and knew a little about the subject matter, but nothing really concrete.

Words failed me upon the opening few minutes of this harrowing docudrama telling the story of a group of disturbed youths who intend to murder one of their most despised peers - a dark, mean-spirited bully (Nick Stahl) who torments his close friend (Brad Renfro) and everyone else. I was frightened and moved most of the time, viewing with increased squeamishness the descent of these poor teenagers into pure madness...and the scarier thing is the fact that this entire film is presented with such a raw, unflinching look at the psyche of unstable teenagers. It's done in such a way that I don't think has EVER before been this effective in a teen drama.

This is really, really powerful stuff. It's graphic, it's vile, it's nasty...but unfortunately, it's reality. The fact that this whole devastating ordeal actually happened is a source of great discomfort to me. It is no doubt a masterpiece in my eyes, just for its sheer level of pure authenticity. Sure, you hate to see and hear what these kids are doing half the time, but you've got to hand it to the cast and crew, who were able to channel the emotions and characteristics of the types of people we see every day: moody, violent, uncontrollable, careless, and dangerous young people who seem to have lost any semblance of grip on their lives, and who want to expose their anguish to the world. This is hard-hitting, voyeuristic teen drama at its very best (and worst).

Labyrinth (1986)
Fantastic!! A delightful, magical romp for the whole family!, 8 October 2003

Perhaps I'm a little biased in saying this, but I would have automatically loved "Labyrinth" no matter WHAT...because for the past year I have discovered the musical and artistic genius of Mr. David Bowie, and I am now an unabashed fan of his work. The sheer versatility and longevity of this man is so unbelievable that I won't even let myself go off on a tangent about it, because I'm sure you've heard it all before!

But I digress (as usual)...and with regards to the film itself, it really is an underrated classic from the late '80s - a masterful and amazingly imaginative journey into an other-worldly place. When Sarah's (Jennifer Connelly) noisy little baby brother is unexpectedly taken away by the goblin characters in her favourite storybook, she suddenly realizes that the only way to be able to get him back is to find her way through an intricate and frightening maze (also in her story) - the "labyrinth", if you will. Basically, as she progresses along, she comes across loads and loads of surreal obstacles, hilarious creatures, and interesting setpieces that lay the ground for a wholly creative odyssey.

I found myself to be very impressed by the clear effort put into this project to make it seem fresh and unique. Sure, a few parts here and there totally reek of the cheesy late-'80s style - you can't omit the Goblin King's (David Bowie) eye-popping outfit - but for the most part, it is a surprisingly effective and timeless children's fantasy, well-acted, well-written, well-designed, etc...plus the bonus fact that most of the film's soundtrack was exclusively composed by none other than Mr. Bowie himself! How cool is that? You've gotta love the dedication here...This is certainly a film that I wouldn't hesitate to recommend to children of any age...although I must admit that even when I watched it for the first time at a pre-adolescent (!) age, I was pretty well scared out of my wits because I had NO idea what the heck was going on! Aw, well...that was just my ignorance for you. Hopefully I've been a more sensible viewer since then.


Page 1 of 5:[1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [Next]